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NEW PRODUCTS FOR FRAMING MEMORIES.

NEW YORK-The trend toward framing personal mementos and souvenirs is expected to continue its unprecedented growth due to the rise in consumer sentimentality. It's that millennium thing, suppliers said.

With it come new products to capitalize on the trend. Collage frames from several large wall decor suppliers have been extremely popular.

But consumers are asking for frames that are more versatile and that allow them to more readily replace the photos displayed in the frames. This was the concept behind MCS Industries' French-pleated pocket frame with keepsake mat. The item requires no cutting or taping, and holds concert tickets, postcards and other keepsakes, which can easily be exchanged.

The concept carries over to larger items, as well.

A new company, Anaheim, Cal.-based Walbums, was created to specialize in photo storage and display, said president Tom Kacius. He designed Walbums Photo Cabinets, which look like picture frames but store like albums. The hinged, glass-front cabinets are made of wood, offered in three finishes, are double-matted in antique linen and gold, and store 36 photos in each compartment. Available in several configurations, they retail for $19.99 to $69.99 and are being sold through catalogs, specialty retailers and the Internet at www.Walbums.com.

Other new products, such as FrameMica's Boxers, lend the same versatility to shadow-boxing. Boxers are a system designed to enable framers to create usable wall art. Designed like glass front cabinets, Boxers allow consumers to access their framed objects.

"The whole idea in shadow-boxing is partially to preserve and partially to display," noted David Rosner, senior vice president of marketing for FrameMica, based in Bohemia, N.Y. "Shadow-boxing is getting hotter, particularly as we get closer to 2000, and people want to preserve their memories." FrameMica's year-long shadow-boxing competition last year resulted in a 12-page brochure:

"Great Ideas in Shadowboxing," which is available for point-of-purchase displays to show consumers what's available.

Rosner said that creative retailers market their services business-to-business by creating shadow-boxed memorabilia from a local restaurant, golf store or other business. FrameMica also offers a framed baseball P. O. P. display.
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Author:Meyer, Nancy
Publication:HFN The Weekly Newspaper for the Home Furnishing Network
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 30, 1999
Words:347
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